Recently I took a trip to Montreal to visit a friend. The trip itself I may or may not later write about, but the fact is, I found the way back to be so much more full of new experience than the stay in Montreal itself. Now bear in mind, I’m 16 and this is the first time I’ve crossed the Atlantic Ocean on my own. The trip back from Canada to my country of residence (yes, keeping it a secret) was a grueling 26 hour journey, with a stop in Frankfurt and another in Vienna.
I got to the airport in Montreal early, checked in my luggage, and breezily went through security and passport control. I passed the time in the airport walking around the stores and later through the duty free. I got on the plane and walked through the aisle till I got to my seat in the economy section. As I put my carry on up in the overhead luggage, a young African woman approached the seat with an infant baby girl in her arms, red-faced and teary-eyed. Of course, she happened to be sitting next to me. Now I’m not saying that anything is her fault or that she’s a bad person, but I had a 26 hour trip ahead of me and I was planning to use this, the longest flight I was on, as my sleeping time. Thankfully, after about 15 minutes, a flight attendant approached me and offered me a different seat. I immediately accepted the offer, although did feel guilty. It was as though I was abandoning the woman and her little girl.
I was directed to an empty seat next to a man who looked like he was in his late fifties. We greeted one another and sat in silence until our dinner was served. Before our food had arrived, I’d taken the liberty to peek over the journal he was writing in, the book he was reading, and the Powerpoint presentation he was preparing. The man really had a lot to do on a flight! I also tried to get a couple of peeks of his face, but for anyone who’s sat next to another person ever, you know how hard it is to inconspicuously look at someone sitting right next to you without them noticing.